You Can Do It

20 Jul 2010 by Fausto Sicha, No Comments »

By: Fausto Sicha

Speech Delivered at Spring Valley High School

June, 2009


          On May 28th, 2001, as I was about to get on the bus a sad woman came to me, she said, we have been together for more than twenty years, we have fought together against poverty, we have tried everything but our efforts are not enough to keep you from going away.

          I said, mother please don’t cry, I know we are losing this fight. At that moment she gave this book, the constitution of my country and then said, from now on all we have is memories, wherever you go try your best, whoever you meet give them a hand, I know that the USA is not your country, I know that you don’t have friends there, I know that you don’t have family in the US.

          Then I responded, mom, when I was in Peru I felt that the whole continent was my country. When I went to Nicaragua, I didn’t see people from Nicaragua; I saw a group of friends. When I went to Mexico, I didn’t see Mexicans, I saw brothers and sisters.

          And then my mother said, but you my little friend have only a single mother. That same afternoon at 3:20pm I left my country, since then I have been looking for words to describe that painful moment, and I have carried my mother picture in my mind but my eyes never saw her again.

          In the 8 years that I have been living here, I always tried to do the two things that my mother asked me, to try my best and to give other a hand. When I just got here I had five jobs and still managed to take English classes at boces, then at night when I went home I tried to teach what I learned to my roommates because their job did not allow them to go to school.

          When I went to college, I worked over 50 hours a week, I took 18 credits per semester, I wrote for the school newspaper, and I made time to help some of my classmates by tutoring them math and Spanish.

          When I went to grad school, I did a two year program in 1 year, and then when school was over for me, I approached a classmate who had already spent 8 years in a two year program and offered him my books hopping that he will never give up his dream of getting a master’s degree.

          The things that I have achieved in school have been full of challenges. When things seemed impossible I did not look of what I lacked, I tried my best with what I had.

          When things went wrong, instead of giving up my dream, I had the courage to begin again.

          When people said that college is not for dishwashers, I knew they were wrong, so I chose not to believe them.

          When the strength of my body asked me to stop, I closed my eyes for a moment, and then I remembered my mother crying and asking me to try my best, I remembered my friends looking for a job in rout 59. I remembered my little brother washing dishes 15 hours a day. I remember my 2 sisters cleaning houses 7 days a week, so believing that education would help me to make things easier for me I chose not to give up my dream of getting a college degree and I kept trying.

          When the road ahead seemed long and dark, I believed in myself. I kept my dream alive. I kept walking, five years later I saw the light, five years later I have a degree in my hands.

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